The Cogers Trust is a non profit-making Charitable Trust, established in 2000, in pursuance of the following Educational Object:

‘To advance the skills of public debating of current matters by encouraging, developing and facilitating Cogers clubs and related activities and such other charitable purposes as the Trustees shall in duly constituted meetings from time to time direct’.

The principal aims and roles of the Trust therefore include:

to assist in the development of other Cogers Clubs and to act as  a link between them

to safeguard the Cogers concept, and to give accreditation to new Cogers clubs

to be a central point for information, advice or support, including the development and maintenance of the Cogers website.

Trustees of the Cogers Trust are Magnus Nielsen (Chairman), David Cozens, David Kerry, Donald Leon Soon, Alex Young and Gwyn Redgers.

Starting a New Club

Fully experienced individuals are encouraged to set up new accredited Cogers clubs should they so wish. Advice and assistance will be given by the Trust, which includes guidance notes for the offices of Grand, Opener and Evaluator (click on  ‘Contact us’ to download copies of these notes).

In many respects it is for the individual and the new club to determine how it is founded and developed and how it operates, which should of course be within the Cogers spirit. There are however certain principles and procedures which must be present if the Society is to have the benefits of recognition by the Cogers Trust. These are the following:

1.         ELIGIBILITY

Accreditation will generally not be given to any society that discriminates in membership on the grounds of race, religion, sex, age (subject to a possible minimum age), employment, political views, economic status or any other factor.  Exemptions may be given in very specific cases, e.g. to a society founded within an all-female university or for one language in a multi-lingual country.


The basis of the Cogers Society is the free expression of all views.  Recognition will only be given to those societies fully sharing this key principle (though sub-rules about permissible language, etc may be created).


Obligatory elements in standard Cogers debates are:

the presence of a Chairman of the debate, and his or her title of 'The Grand'.  Contributions are addressed to 'My Grand'

the inclusion of an opening review of relevant news events (generally of the past week or month), given by the Opener

contributions from as many as possible of those attending, which may be on any relevant issues which they wish

some form of closing (perhaps summarising or evaluating) which should include an award.

the lack of a formal motion or of a vote of any kind.

4.         STRUCTURE

Recognition will only be given to societies which have a formal structure that includes officers, elections and committee procedures.


Recognition will only be given to societies which agree to provide a minimum annual contribution (currently £10 Sterling) to the Cogers Trust.


It is for each society to decide whether it wishes to maintain all such traditions as mentioned under ‘Procedures’ on this website. These include the loyal or other appropriate reference (by the Opener), the presence of the symbolic Apple of Discord (awarded by the evaluator) or the lighting of the Candle of Enlightenment to show that the debate is in session.